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  • Evolutionary Religious Studies | Thank God For Evolution
    anxious to get a copy of this book as it seems to build new and alluring bridges between liberal and conservative religious perspectives And it does so precisely by tracing the evolutionary history and adaptive value of five broad categories of religiously sanctioned moral intuitions Within no more than a few years I predict religious conservatives and liberals alike will be clamoring to put to use in their own teachings new findings drawn from evolutionary psychology evolutionary brain science and evolutionary anthropology More both conservatives and liberals will come to depend on these new sciences for helping them perhaps for the first time understand the real world adaptive value of tenets held by their religious opposites Evolutionary biologist and author David Sloan Wilson is at the center of this revolution The pivotal role that David and others like Pete Richerson and Rob Boyd have played in broadening modern darwinian thinking to include group selection is the reason why religious tenets finally can be studied as evolutionary adaptations essential for group cohesion See Beyond Demonic Memes Why Richard Dawkins is Wrong About Religion David Sloan Wilson s critique of Dawkins view of religion on evolutionary grounds in a recent issue of eSkeptic I met David Wilson last January in Hawaii where I was one of the evening plenary speakers at the first International Conference on the Evolution of Religion see picture on right with Dan Dennett Bill Irons and myself on a yacht Having written three highly acclaimed books Unto Others The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior co authored with Elliot Sober Darwin s Cathedral Evolution Religion and the Nature of Society and Evolution for Everyone How Darwin s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives David came to the gathering as a leading light His enthusiastic

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/blog/evolutionary-religious-studies (2016-04-30)
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  • Inspiring Podcasts | Thank God For Evolution
    Study Guides Media Audio Video Flyers Posters Schedule Store The Great Story Search Inspiring Podcasts Nearly every Sunday morning year round I am delivering a sermon as a guest minister in some Unitarian Universalist Christian or New Thought church How do I keep my own soul fed and expanded with the ideas of others Reading books has always been a big part of my life but now with the Internet I can also listen to AUDIOS of sermons and spiritual broadcasts Many churches produce podcasts for just that purpose On our Great Story website my wife Connie Barlow an acclaimed science writer posts a web list of her personal favorite sermon podcasts Or just google around and see if you find any that speak to your heart When you find really great ones please email me at Michael at TheGreatStory dot com and let me know A weekly Internet radio podcast that I particularly enjoy is Interfaith Voices hosted by Maureen Fiedler Maureen did a splendid job interviewing me this past summer Truly I recommend taking the time to listen to it You can access this interview directly on the Audio Video page of this TGFE site You can also

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/blog/inspiring-podcasts (2016-04-30)
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  • UU's: Celebrating Evolution | Thank God For Evolution
    Celebrating Evolution The last five and a half years Connie and I have travelled America with three excursions into Canada doing programs in churches retreat centers colleges universities and other religious and educational settings We have delivered Sunday sermons evening programs and multi day workshops in more than five hundred churches convents monasteries and spiritual centers including liberal and conservative Roman Catholic Protestant Evangelical Unitarian Universalist Unity Religious Science Quaker Mennonite and Buddhist groups We have also presented audience appropriate versions of our evolution celebrating message in nearly a hundred secular settings including colleges high schools grade schools nature centers zoos and public libraries You can see the various places we ve been here Some people ask me when they notice that we ve spoken in more than 250 Unitarian Universalist churches and fellowships Why do you speak in so many UU settings The answer is simple Unitarians are the low hanging fruit when it comes to evolution because most UU s get at least intuitively that the worldwide self correcting scientific enterprise results in collective intelligence The Unitarian Universalist Association is the only mainline religious body that completely and religiously embraces a mainstream science view of evolution Indeed the national membership magazine of the UUA the UU World has featured the Great Storyâ that is a sacred view of cosmic biological and human history twice on their cover The first time was the Nov Dec 1998 issue which consisted mostly of excerpts from Connie Barlow s amazing book Green Space Green Time The Way of Science When I read this article I immediately thought to myself I have to read this book and meet the author Little did I know then that not long after we would meet two years later Connie would become my wife The second time

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/blog/uus-celebrating-evolution (2016-04-30)
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  • Honoring Thomas Berry | Thank God For Evolution
    clips of Thomas reading from his book The Great Work I have been inspired by the work of countless scientists theologians and scholars over the years but none has had a greater influence on my thinking and my life than Fr Thomas Berry a 94 year old retired Passionist priest cultural historian and self described geologian He is one of the most precious people in the world to me Connie and I visited Thomas in Greensboro North Carolina a few days ago on Nov 17 2008 where he and his sister Margaret both live in a residential care community Thomas has been a friend and mentor since 1988 He is truly one of the great hearts and minds of our time Thomas s writings have inspired a generation of thinkers and activists in disciplines as diverse as cosmology cultural anthropology big history religious studies sustainability bioregionalism permaculture evolutionary spirituality eco theology creation spirituality deep ecology and eco feminism among others His books The Dream of the Earth The Great Work Evening Thoughts and The Universe Story co authored with Brian Swimme are gems of deep thinking and inspired insight In my opinion no one writes more brilliantly about the role

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/blog/thomas-berry (2016-04-30)
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  • The Great Blasphemy? | Thank God For Evolution
    of religious believers around the world not only are unable to see the entire 14 billion year history of the Universe as holy indeed as the primary revelation of God but many even consider evolution demonic I know this because I too was once such a blasphemer proclaiming evolution was of the devil Many people of course have never been exposed to religiously inspiring views of evolution so this should not be surprising And the fact that many theists and atheists alike hold trivialized notions of the divine i e they think of God as an otherworldly entity whose main business is engaging in unnatural acts i e supernatural interventions also contributes to this condition Non evolutionary views of God are by their very nature unsubstantial and inconsequential The fact that Richard Dawkins book The God Delusion was an overnight bestseller is compelling evidence of this No one would buy a book titled The Life Delusion or The Universe Delusion Why Because Life and the Universe are not trivial concepts they are undeniably real Do you believe in water is an absurd question precisely because water is real not imaginary It simply doesn t matter whether we believe in water or not We are each 50 70 water Without water we wouldn t exist whether we believe in it or not Tradtional flat earth views of God understandings that emerged when people thought the world was flat must be believed in or not Evolutionary understandings of God transcend belief Indeed any God that can be believed in or not is precisely what I m not talking about The reason I spend two chapters in my book discussing this is because to my mind nothing is more important than un trivializing God and redeeming God talk Philip K Dick has written

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/blog/the-great-blasphemy (2016-04-30)
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  • Beyond Evidence: Responding to Creationists | Thank God For Evolution
    religion and understanding religious differences Yesterday I received an email from a Christian who rejects evolution and considers himself a young earth creationist This happens quite regularly of course and invariably I m asked What evidence do you see for evolution I usually begin my reply along these lines I am not a scientist thus my evidence begins with this striking fact well over 95 of the world s scientists and tens of millions of religious people from every faith tradition embrace an evolutionary worldview precisely because of the overwhelming empirical evidence uncovered revealed over the past two hundred years As a species collectively we no longer merely believe that the entire Universe has been in a process of evolutionary emergence for billions of years we know it And we know it thanks to the mountains of measurable evidence discovered in disciplines as diverse as cosmology astronomy physics astrophysics chemistry botany zoology primatology microbiology genetics anthropology archeology evolutionary brain science and evolutionary psychology That is only the beginning however Because perhaps the main reason I wholeheartedly even evangelistically embrace an evolutionary worldview isn t the evidence I unabashedly celebrate evolution because to use traditional Christian night language a sacred view of deep time gives me a far more intimate personal relationship with God and a closer walk with Christ than I had when I was a anti evolution creationist More by knowing my brain s creation story and why Christ like evolutionary integrity is everything I now find it infinitely easier to live a life of ongoing victory over my sinful nature When I interpret cosmic biological and human history which is what I mean when I use the word evolution in God glorifying Christ edifying scripture honoring ways I experience heaven as undeniably real in this life here now

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/blog/beyond-evidence-responding-to-creationists (2016-04-30)
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  • Communing with Rapido | Thank God For Evolution
    Rapido in the mountains of southwestern Colorado Every year for the last three years our friends Ken and Lois Carpenter have generously offered Connie and me use of their cabin below on the Los Pinos River for a week or two Every day both of us jump into the raging rapids and very quickly get carried downstream thirty or forty yards before swimming to the side and getting out As you can imagine the experience is both bracing and exhilarating Over the course of six years of marriage and life on the road Connie and I have playfully named a number of places and things that are special to us such as Rapido In so doing we have entered into more intimate relationship with each of them For example as I mentioned in an earlier post we have chosen a personal name for our home continent of North America Nora Jasmine is the name we use to speak of our relationship as a couple the whole that is more than the sum of the two of us Naming our marital bond has helped us prevent minor disagreements from morphing into major ones I know what you want I may say

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/blog/communing-with-rapido (2016-04-30)
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  • Life as an Evolutionary Evangelist | Thank God For Evolution
    from another point of view we have dozens and dozens of homes You see we are able to sustain our itinerant lifestyle and evolutionary evangelistic ministry only because of the generosity of those who invite us into their home and at times and locations that track our schedule of speaking events When we arrive at a new residence we usually turn the guest room into a makeshift office We set up our portable tables and lap top computers there Almost always we choose to sleep in our van which we call Angel We have a bed built into Angel above the storage bins As our van is the one constant in our lives we actually prefer to sleep there no matter how lovely the guest bedroom unless of course it is brutally hot or cold at night Right now in Scottsdale Arizona with daytime temperatures reaching 112 degrees we have chosen to sleep in the van on only two nights out of ten As I recollect the coldest we ve had to survive through a night was south of Klamath Falls Oregon when it hit 7 degrees F and we were enroute to California so sleeping in someone s guest bedroom was not an option Our missionary lifestyle sharing the great news gospel of evolution in religious and nonreligious settings across North America is so deeply fulfilling so enormously life giving that Connie and I truly feel we are the richest people in the world And we are Think about it we re perpetually on vacation yet always in the center of our bliss We get to share a science based reconciling inspiring message to appreciative and ever changing audiences We stay with some of the most amazing people on the planet and have wonderful conversations about topics that really

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/blog/life-as-an-evolutionary-evangelist (2016-04-30)
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